Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/403

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


capital was already in the enemy's hands, attempted negotiation, professing his readiness to accept any terms that might be dictated. Ferdinand, however, insisted on his claim to hold Navarre until he should complete his holy enterprise against France. Most of the Navarrese towns and fortresses now surrendered; Tudela was besieged by the Aragonese under the Archbishop of Saragossa. Early in August Ferdinand renewed his promise to give up the kingdom at the end of the war. His messenger was seized and imprisoned, and on the 21st of the month he published at Burgos the bull Pater ille coelestis, excommunicating all who resisted the Holy League, and declaring their lands and honours forfeited to those who should seize them. Although Jean d'Albret and Catherine were not named, the bull specially mentioned the Basques and Cantabrians, and dread of its threats brought about the surrender of the few places that still held out in Upper Navarre. Ferdinand now threw off the mask and took the title of King of Navarre. Meanwhile Alva had crossed the mountains, and summoned the Marquis of Dorset from his camp near San Sebastian to aid in the conquest of Lower Navarre. The English, however, declared that they had come to conquer not Navarre but Guyenne; and since it was now too late in the year for that purpose they sailed home after plundering a small part of the frontier. A French army advanced against Alva, who recrossed the mountains without fighting and shut himself up in Pamplona. But, after two fierce assaults, the French in turn withdrew on the approach of Spanish reinforcements. The whole of Upper Navarre and the district of Ultrapuertos north of the mountains remained in Ferdinand's hands. In 1513 the Navarrese Cortes swore allegiance to him, and the French King abandoned his allies by concluding a truce. Navarre was incorporated with Castile (1515); Ultrapuertos was however afterwards abandoned on account of the expense of keeping up an outpost beyond the mountains (1530).

The last three years of Ferdinand's life were uneventful, so far as Spain is concerned. Although he was involved in the tangled skein of alliances and plots by which the fate of Italy was decided, his interest in politics was no longer active. His chief anxiety was to leave a son to succeed to his patrimony. One had been born of his second marriage, but had died shortly after birth. Although he was eager to become a father once more, he was not destined to undo his life's work,—Spanish unity. He fell ill (1513), and with the restlessness of a dying man, wandered through the mountain villages of Castile pursuing his favourite occupation of hunting. A strong Spanish party, led by Don Juan Manuel and supported by France, still opposed him, scheming in favour of Maximilian's claim to govern Spain as regent for his grandson. King Ferdinand held them in check, and set up against Charles his younger brother Ferdinand, who had been brought up in Spain and was now regarded as the probable successor to the united Crowns, or, at least, to